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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2021

Ahmad Ghaith, Huimin Ma and Ashraf W. Labib

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and…

Abstract

Purpose

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and highly significant for the modern society, not only for the valuable resources they have, but also the indispensable services they provide. This research intend to understand how HROs could produce high quality performance despite their challenging and demanding contexts. The research followed an emic approach to develop an organizational framework that reflects the contribution of the seeming traits of the organizations to the operations safety based on the workers point of views about the safety of workstations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted mixed methods of in-depth interviews and literature review to identify the structural characteristics of high-reliability organizations (HROs) embedded in the organizations studies and developed a theoretical based structural framework for HROs. Furthermore, a systemic literature review was adopted to find the evidence from the organizations literature for the identified characteristics from the interviews from the first stage. The setting for this study is six Chinese power stations, four stations in Hubei province central China and two stations in the southern China Guangdong province.

Findings

The organizational framework is a key determinant to achieve high-reliability performance; however, solely it cannot explain how HROs manage the risks of hazard events and operate safely in high-hazard environments. High-reliability performance is attributed to the interaction between two sets of determinants of safety and hazard. The findings of this research indicate that HROs systems would be described as reliable or hazardous depending on the tightly coupled setting, complexity, bureaucracy involvement and dynamicity within the systems from one hand, and safety orientation, failure intolerance, systemwide processing, the institutional setting and the employment of redundant systems on other hand.

Originality/value

The authors developed an organizational framework of organizing the safety work in HROs. The applied method of interviewing and literature review was not adopted in any other researches.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Peter F. Martelli, Peter E. Rivard and Karlene H. Roberts

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice in healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to explore several of these theory-practice gaps and propose implications for research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Classic and cutting-edge HRO literature is applied to analyze two industry trends: delivery system integration, and the confluence of patient-as-consumer and patient-centered care.

Findings

Highly reliable integrated delivery systems will likely function very differently from classic HRO organizations. Both practitioners and researchers should address conditions such as how a system is bounded, how reliable the system should be and how interdependencies are handled. Additionally, systems should evaluate the added uncertainty and variability introduced by enhanced agency on the part of patients/families in decision making and in processes of care.

Research limitations/implications

Dramatic changes in the sociotechnical environment are influencing the coupling and interactivity of system elements in healthcare. Researchers must address the maintenance of reliability across organizations and the migration of decision-making power toward patients and families.

Practical implications

As healthcare systems integrate, managers attempting to apply HRO principles must recognize how these systems present new and different reliability-related challenges and opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a starting point for the advancement of research and practice in high-reliability healthcare by providing an in-depth exploration of the implications of two major industry trends.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Evan H. Offstein, Raymond Kniphuisen, D. Robin Bichy and J. Stephen Childers Jr

Recent lapses in the management of high hazard organizations, such as the Fukushima event or the Deepwater Horizon blast, add considerable urgency to better understand the…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent lapses in the management of high hazard organizations, such as the Fukushima event or the Deepwater Horizon blast, add considerable urgency to better understand the complicated and complex phenomena of leading and managing high reliability organizations (HRO). The purpose of this paper is to offer both theoretical and practical insight to further strengthen reliability in high hazard organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Phenomenological study based on over three years of research and thousands of hours of study in HROs conducted through a scholar-practitioner partnership.

Findings

The findings indicate that the identification and the management of competing tensions arising from misalignment within and between public policy, organizational strategy, communication, decision-making, organizational learning, and leadership is the critical factor in explaining improved reliability and safety of HROs.

Research limitations/implications

Stops short of full-blown grounded theory. Steps were made to ensure validity; however, generalizability may be limited due to sample.

Practical implications

Provides insight into reliably operating organizations that are crucial to society where errors would cause significant damage or loss.

Originality/value

Extends high reliability research by investigating more fully the competing tensions present in these complex, societally crucial organizations.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Andrew Waguih Ishak and Elizabeth Ann Williams

Organizations of all types desire to be imbued with resilience, or the ability to withstand and bounce back from difficult events (Richardson, 2002; Walsh 2003). But…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations of all types desire to be imbued with resilience, or the ability to withstand and bounce back from difficult events (Richardson, 2002; Walsh 2003). But resilience does not play the same role in every organization. Previous research (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2011) has argued that organizations can be more or less resilient. For high reliability organizations (HROs) such as fire crews and emergency medical units, resilience is a defining feature. Due to the life-or-death nature of their work, the ability to be successful in the face of difficult events is imperative to the process of HROs. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theory piece.

Findings

The authors put forth a dual-spectrum model that introduces adaptive and anchored approaches to organizational resilience.

Research limitations/implications

There are organizations for which resilience is only enacted when the organization must overcome difficult events. And at the other end are organizations that may not enact resilience in difficult times, and therefore fail or deteriorate. But while it has been shown that organizations can be more or less resilient, there has been little attention paid to how organizations may have differing types of resilience.

Originality/value

In this piece, the authors theorize that resilience may differ in type between organizations. Drawing on theoretical approaches to resilience from communication (Buzzanell, 2010), organizational behavior (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2011), and motivational psychology (Dweck, 2016), the authors introduce a model that views resilience as a dynamic construct in organizations. The authors argue that an organization’s resilience-centered actions affect – and are determined by – its approach to Buzzanell’s (2010) five communicative processes of resilience. The authors offer testable propositions, as well as theoretical and practical implications from this model, not only for HROs, but for all organizations.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Marc A. Flitter, Kelly Rouse Riesenmy and Daved van Stralen

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.Design/methodology/approach – A…

Abstract

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theoretical qualitative approach, utilizing the organizational theory of sensemaking, provided the foundation for inductive and deductive reasoning employed to analyze medical staff rejection of two successfully performing high reliability programs at separate hospitals.

Findings – Physician behaviors resistant to patient-centric high reliability processes were traced to provider-centric physician sensemaking.

Research limitations/implications – Research, conducted with the advantage that prospective studies have over the limitations of this retrospective investigation, is needed to evaluate the potential for overcoming physician resistance to innovation implementation, employing strategies based upon these findings and sensemaking theory in general.

Practical implications – If hospitals are to emulate high reliability industries that do successfully manage environments of extreme hazard, physicians must be fully integrated into the complex teams required to accomplish this goal.

Social implications – Reforming health care, through high reliability organizing, with its attendant continuous focus on patient-centric processes, offers a distinct alternative to efforts directed primarily at reforming health care insurance. It is by changing how health care is provided that true cost efficiencies can be achieved. Technology and the insights of organizational science present the opportunity of replacing the current emphasis on privileged information with collective tools capable of providing quality and safety in health care.

Originality/value – The fictions that have sustained a provider-centric health care system have been challenged. The benefits of patient-centric care should be obtainable.

Details

Annual Review of Health Care Management: Strategy and Policy Perspectives on Reforming Health Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-191-5

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Daniele Binci, Corrado Cerruti and Stefano Antonio Donnarumma

The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of resistance at team level in a change project focused on the maintenance activities of a high reliability organisation

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of resistance at team level in a change project focused on the maintenance activities of a high reliability organisation (HRO) that operates in the electricity distribution field.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory is built, analysing a large dataset of material (project reports, processes descriptions, internal memos and presentations), direct observation and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

The paper documents a model where resistance has evolved over time. Differentiated responses to change of employees during the project and also different forms of resistance are observed. The outcome of the analysis shows the positive role of mindful inertia in the change project.

Research limitations/implications

Outcomes are, by the nature of the research, deeply rooted in the context and the study is focused on a specific service of an organisation that is high reliability‐oriented. Future studies should look at whether these insights are also relevant for other organisations.

Practical implications

Mindful inertia can prove useful in achieving better performances in implementing change.

Originality/value

With respect to the existing literature, the paper shows that in HROs acceptance of change and mindful resistance to that change interacts to improve the outcome process. Resistance, under certain conditions, can provide the very insights needed to implement change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Pedro Senna, Augusto Reis, Igor Leão Santos, Ana Claudia Dias and Ormeu Coelho

This paper aims to present a systematic literature review (SLR) to investigate how supply chain risk management (SCRM) is applied to the healthcare supply chains and which…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a systematic literature review (SLR) to investigate how supply chain risk management (SCRM) is applied to the healthcare supply chains and which improvement opportunities are being missed in this segment.

Design/methodology/approach

This SLR used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method to answer three research questions: (1) Which are the main gaps concerning healthcare supply chain risk management (HCSCRM)? (2) What is the definition of HCSCRM? and (3) What are the risk management techniques and approaches used in healthcare supply chains?

Findings

The authors present a complete summary of the HCSCRM body of research, investigating research strings like clinical engineering and high reliability organizations (HROs) and its relations with HCSCRM; (1) This research revealed the five pillars of HCSCRM; (2) The authors proposed a formal definition for HCSCRM considering all the literature blocks explored and (3) The authors generated a list of risks present in healthcare supply chains resulting from extensive article research.

Research limitations/implications

The authors only reviewed international journal articles (published in the English language), excluding conference papers, dissertations and theses, textbooks, book chapters, unpublished articles and notes. In addition, the study did not thoroughly investigate specific countries' particularities concerning how the healthcare providers are organized.

Originality/value

The contribution of this article is threefold: (1) To the best of authors knowledge, there is no other SLR about HCSCRM published in the scientific literature by the time of realization of authors’ work, suggesting that is the first effort to fulfill this research gap; (2) Following the previous contribution, in this work the authors propose a first formal definition for HCSCRM and (3) The authors analyzed concepts such as clinical engineering and HROs to establish the building blocks of HCSCRM.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2011

Sujin K. Horwitz, Irwin B. Horwitz and Neal R. Barshes

Previous research has demonstrated that communication failure and interpersonal conflicts are significant impediments among health care teams to assess complex information…

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that communication failure and interpersonal conflicts are significant impediments among health care teams to assess complex information and engage in the meaningful collaboration necessary for optimizing patient care. Despite the prolific research on the role of effective teamwork in accomplishing complex tasks, such findings have been traditionally applied to business organizations and not medical contexts. This chapter, therefore, reviews and applies four theories from the fields of organizational behavior (OB) and organization development (OD) as potential means for improving team interaction in health care contexts. This study is unique in its approach as it addresses the long-standing problems that exist in team communication and cooperation in health care teams by applying well-established theories from the organizational literature. The utilization and application of the theoretical constructs discussed in this work offer valuable means by which the efficacy of team work can be greatly improved in health care organizations.

Details

Organization Development in Healthcare: Conversations on Research and Strategies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-709-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Jyoti Navare

Based on the belief that it is behaviour which constitutes risk rather than procedures, the paper focuses on the awareness of behavioural aspects in risk management…

Abstract

Based on the belief that it is behaviour which constitutes risk rather than procedures, the paper focuses on the awareness of behavioural aspects in risk management techniques and the consequences that arise out of this awareness. It questions the traditional thinking that risk management is predominantly a set of procedures in the control of risk. The paper also considers the part played by public policy in managing risk and changing behaviour. The paper concludes that it is behaviour, and not the set of procedures, which is the risky factor; therefore in risk management there is need to focus on developing human behaviour that is capable of being flexible in an event.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 29 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Roozbeh Hesamamiri, Mohammad Mahdavi Mazdeh and Mostafa Jafari

As a way of assessing the ability of organizations to discover and manage unexpected failures in organizational capabilities of knowledge management (KM), this study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

As a way of assessing the ability of organizations to discover and manage unexpected failures in organizational capabilities of knowledge management (KM), this study aims to develop a measurement instrument that involves the five reliability dimensions of preoccupation with failure, reluctance to simplify interpretations, sensitivity to operations, commitment to resilience, and deference to expertise.

Design/methodology/approach

To generate measurement items, previous research related to organizational reliability, high reliability theory, mindfulness, and required organizational capabilities of KM was reviewed. The measurement instrument was then verified in terms of reliability and validity, empirically using data from 240 companies in North America. Internal consistency of measurements, measurement item reliability, and construct reliability were examined to ensure the reliability of the instrument. Based on confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modelling, construct validity was also tested.

Findings

The reliability evaluation instrument for KM suggested in this study was constructed with four dimensions, preoccupation with failure in KM, sensitivity to KM operations, commitment to resilience in KM, and deference to expertise. The related measurement items were also identified.

Practical implications

This instrument is useful for researchers and executives looking for appropriate outcomes through the implementation of KM initiatives. Furthermore, the study provides a starting point for further research on KM reliability.

Originality/value

To date, while many of the KM success or failure studies have relied on developing success factors or organizational capability requirements, few studies have been conducted to identify evaluation measures that can assess the cognitive infrastructure that enables simultaneous adaptive learning and provides organizational reliability infrastructure through the management of unwanted, unanticipated, and unexplainable failures in KM-required capabilities.

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